Welding consists of four main processes, all being quite different while achieving the same goal. Metal Inert Gas, Tungsten Inert Gas, Stick Welding and Oxy-acetylene. Welders can work on any metal within residential and commercial construction, industrial applications, marine applications and many more.
Why should you consider a career in Welding?
Welding is an exceedingly popular and sought-after trade in Texas, the United States and across the globe. Welding covers a wide variety of jobs offering eager learners many different options to choose from. As a welder, you will perform a vital role while working with engineers, fabricators, construction leads, owners and architects, to the successful completion of a project.
Your Career in Welding Starts HERE.
|Average Welder Salary|
$29,000 to $42,000
$42,000 to $62,000
$52,000 to $83,000
$52,000 to $93,000
Set Your Foundation for Education
Earning your high school diploma or equivalent, such as a GED, is your first step on the path to becoming a professional welder. Having a basic knowledge of reading, writing, science, and math is critical to pursuing any career in the pro trade industry. For welders, having an advanced knowledge of math and science is necessary since the work often involves making accurate measurements and interpreting blueprints. Areas of your high school or equivalent education that will benefit you as a welder include:
- Metric units of measure
Pro tip: Keep your record clean.
In addition to earning your high school diploma or GED, other factors that can impact your welding career are your driving record, your criminal background, and your ability to pass a drug test. Training programs and future employers might be deterred from working with you for safety and insurance reasons if you have:
- DUIs or DWIs
- Reckless driving convictions
- An extensive number of moving violations
- Certain misdemeanor offenses
- Felony convictions of any kind
- Failed drug test
If you have a valid driver’s license, are drug-free and have a clean driving record and criminal background, then it will be easier for you to pursue a welding career.
Enroll in technical courses
Once you have earned your high school diploma or equivalent, the next step is to enroll in technical welding courses. Many states require a certain number of hours in the classroom to become a certified welder. Technical courses are offered by a variety of public and private schools and programs. Check out local community colleges, trade institutions, unions, or professional welding associations for information about welding in your area. The curriculum will depend on your city or state’s requirements.
Find an apprenticeship
Depending on where you live, you will be required to work alongside an experienced welder as an apprentice for a certain number of hours. The length of the apprenticeship will vary but could take as long as two to five years. You might be able to complete your apprenticeship while you are enrolled in technical courses. To find a welding apprenticeship, you can start by checking with the trade school or organizations through which you are receiving technical training. If they do not offer an apprenticeship program, they will have information about where to find one.
Pro tip: You can also check with local welding businesses to see if they are hiring apprentices. Not only will you receive valuable on the job training from a seasoned professional, but they might offer to pay you for the hours you work. This gives you the opportunity to earn while you learn.
Take the test
Certain areas will require you to pass a written exam, a practical test or both for you to earn your welding certification or license. If testing is required in your area, you will have to take it once you have completed your technical courses and your apprenticeship program. In general, you can expect the exam to be cumulative of what you learned on the job and in the classroom. Based on your state and local requirements, you might then be considered a certified journeyman welder once you pass the test. If so, then you might be legally allowed to complete welding work without the assistance of another qualified welder depending on where you live.